Literature and Languages research

Our multidisciplinary research team works in literary and film studies, language, translation and linguistics, creative writing and publishing studies. Our vision is to increase understanding of text and language as they function across geographical, linguistic, material, commercial, institutional and cultural borders, and as they have developed over time from the medieval period to the present day.

Our strategy is to enable multidisciplinary research that is transnational in scope and significance, and which has real-world impact and utility. We work within a shared set of three research themes outlined below, bringing together outstanding researchers to develop their fields.

Our research

Transnational Narratives, Literatures and Cultures

Learn more about our interdisciplinary, intercultural, multilingual and cross-genre approaches to this theme within and across Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanic literary, film and cultural studies including Gothic and Critical Religion.

Book History, Writing and Publishing

Find out more about our research into book history and material cultures, textual editing, and the study and practice of contemporary writing and publishing.

Language, Linguistics and Translation

Learn more about our applied research in this theme that aims to illuminate and ameliorate social problems and conditions ranging from public health and food culture, to civil and minority rights and the historical legacy of colonial discourses.

gothic illustration

Research Spotlight

Find out how our research helped to shape the world's largest ever public exhibition of the Gothic at the British Library.

Terror and Wonder

Featured research

Illustration of people in library

Books and Borrowing: An Analysis of Scottish Borrowers’ Registers, 1750-1850

Our project uncovers and reinterprets the history of reading in Scotland in the period 1750 to 1830. Using formerly unexplored (or underexplored) borrowing records, we are undertaking cutting-edge research, and creating a valuable new resource that will reveal hidden histories of book use, knowledge dissemination and participation in literate culture.

Algerian coastline

Representations of the French settlers of Algeria

A two-year AHRC funded project which examines the cultural impact of mass migration across the Mediterranean, focusing primarily on literary and artistic representations of and by French colonial settlers from Algeria who were repatriated to France as exiles in 1962.

PhD opportunities in Literature and Languages

English Studies PhD (including Creative Writing)

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment, 100% of our research environment in English was classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. As a PhD researcher in English, you’ll become a key part of that environment.

In conducting English studies research at Stirling, we are guided by our policy on impact: to preserve and make public global literary and cultural heritage; to develop new vocabularies to enhance understanding of cultural values and practices; to inspire and educate readers and audiences outside academia. Recent collaborations with external partners include the British Library, Aye Write!, the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace, the Scottish Poetry Library, the National Trust for Scotland, NHS Scotland, and many others.

We also offer the opportunity to pursue a practice-led PhD in Creative Writing, with specialist supervision from the writers on our staff.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil?

French PhD

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment, 81% of Literature and Language Research at the University of Stirling was rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Studying for a PhD in French, you’ll benefit from our international partnerships and broad and deep specialisms in Francophone Studies, especially Africa and Canada/Quebec, as well as metropolitan France. These interests come together in our strengths in global Film Studies, where we bring together more specialists on more francophone areas than in any other French Studies grouping in the world.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil?

Languages, Cultures and Religions PhD

As a PhD student in Languages, Cultures and Religions you’ll contribute to a research culture that cuts across the disciplinary units of English, Modern Languages, Global Cinema and Religion, and foregrounds their intersections. We work within a shared set of research groups, bringing together outstanding researchers to develop their fields. Our wide-ranging expertise comprises creative practice and the study of global literatures, languages and cultures from the medieval period to the present day.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 81% of our Literature and Languages research was classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil?

Publishing Studies PhD

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication at the University of Stirling is a world-leading centre for postgraduate publishing studies, offering expertise in contemporary and historical publishing in the UK and beyond.

As a PhD researcher in Publishing Studies you’ll benefit from this expertise, as well as our collaborations with industry, publishing-related organisations and other universities. Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. You’ll also have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements

Religious Studies PhD

As a postgraduate researcher in Religious Studies at the University of Stirling, you’ll work with a range of scholars at the cutting edge of critical engagement, with key themes in religion, politics, gender, philosophy, economics and more.

Our Religion research seeks to interrogate the historical construction and limitations of the term itself, and to ask positive but searching questions about the place of religious discourse – and discourse on religion – in contemporary societies. We have a vibrant research environment that welcomes, values and supports PhD researchers. Religious Studies sits within the University’s Division of Literature and Languages, which had 81% of its research classed as world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil?

Spanish PhD

The University of Stirling is ranked first in Scotland for Iberian Languages research quality according to the Complete University Guide 2021.

Studying for a PhD in Spanish, you’ll benefit from our international partnerships and broad expertise in film and visual cultures, literary writing and theory, colonial and postcolonial studies, and more.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil?